The characters in Breaking Bad had lives before the start of the series and their decisions put them where they were when audiences were first introduced to them. Some backgrounds have been covered in the prequel series. Some, especially those including characters that are exclusive to the original show, were only mentioned.
Some of the characters were glad that they made the choices they did as they found themselves in a better place. Others didn’t like the consequences. Walter “Walt” White probably rued his past decisions the most because he could have been a clean multi-millionaire if he made different choices.
Walt Quit Gray Matter Technologies
In the ’80s, Walt co-founded a scientific research company, Gray Matter Technologies, with Elliott Schwartz, his friend from the California Institute of Technology aka Caltech. Gray Matter would grow to become a billion-dollar company but sadly Walt wasn’t there to enjoy the spoils because he had sold his shares for a mere $5000.
Walt’s decision would make him broke, leaving him with no other option than to become a Chemistry teacher. What’s sadder is that his reason for quitting wasn’t work-related. He felt intimidated being around his girlfriend Gretchen’s wealthy family so he not only broke up with her but broke up with the company as well.
Walt & Jesse Met As Teacher And Student
If Jesse had never been Walt’s student, the dynamic duo would never have existed. In the years leading to the pilot, Jesse was a student at J. P. Wynne High School. He constantly got bad grades with Walt frequently writing “Apply Yourself” on his exam papers. Jesse’s mother would later recall how Mr. White believed in Jesse’s academic abilities.
Jesse barely managed to graduate. Seeing no future for himself in the white-collar world, he began engaging in the cooking and distribution of crystal meth. This put him on Hank’s radar, leading to Walt spotting him trying to escape when the DEA raided his hideout. Eager to get into the meth business too, Walt approached the devil he knew and the working relationship began.
Walt & Skyler Bought The House
The White residence became iconic, with many key events taking place in it. Fans of the show even continued touring the real-life area even after the show ended, just to get a glimpse.
Sometime before the start of the show, Walt was doing well financially so he decided to go hunting for a new house. When a real estate agent showed them what would eventually become Heisenberg’s lair, Walt felt it was too small but Skyler felt it was perfect. More importantly, he and Skyler were a happy couple at that time, compared to how they were during the series.
Mike Served As An Officer In The Philadelphia Police Department & A Soldier In The Vietnam War
While working for Gus Fring under the title of “Head of Los Pollos Corporate Security” Mike proved to be the skilled henchman. He was not only good with sniper rifles but with surveillance equipment as well. The question of how he acquired such sophisticated skills was thus raised.
Mike first served as a marine sniper in the Vietnam War. After being discharged, he joined the Philadelphia Police Department where he served for 30 years. On why he is so willing to work with criminals, the answer lies in the revelation that he was a dirty cop too.
Gus & Max Started The Los Pollos Restaurant Chain
In the ’80s, Gus fled Chile to save himself from Pinochet’s brutal regime. He settled in Mexico where he became friends with Max after paying for his education. The duo founded the restaurant chain Los Pollos Hermanos aka “The Chicken Brothers” but it was only a front for their meth business.
Max was killed during a meeting with Juarez Cartel boss Don Eladio Vuente, but this didn’t stop Gus from continuing with the business. He migrated to the USA where he set up more Los Pollos chains and grew to be one of the biggest drug lords.
Skyler Quit Beneke Fabricators
Skyler’s decision to cheat on Walt with her boss Ted caused plenty of fan outrage even though Walt was no saint. She probably would never have done it if she didn’t already have a history with Ted.
Years prior to the start of the show, Skyler was an accountant at Ted’s company Beneke Fabricators. She quit abruptly, citing toxic fumes as her reason, but it was hinted that she only wanted to avoid Ted. In the show, she was forced to take up a job at the company again and this time, she was unable to resist the temptation.
Skinny Pete Served Time In Prison With Tuco
Skinny Pete, one of the most hilarious characters on the show, can be credited with introducing Walt and Jesse to the big leagues. Tired of getting low profits, the duo began the journey of finding a new supplier so Skinny linked Jesse up with Tuco. Pete knew the drug lord because he had served time with him at the Los Lunas State Prison.
Jesse’s first meeting with Tuco didn’t go well, with the Juarez Cartel member assaulting him, taking his product, and refusing to give him the $35,000 required as payment. It took the ‘explosive’ intervention of Walt for Tuco to agree to work with the duo.
Hank Cheated On Marie
Unlike Walt and Skyler, Hank and Marie were mostly portrayed as having a stable marriage. They had known each other since high school and gotten married in 1998.
On the night before he got married to Marie, Hank got intimate with a mystery woman named Joan Crawford. Hank told Walt about it but the Chemistry teacher told him to forget about it since it only happened once. Walt would later come to learn about his own wife’s affair and couldn’t forget about it, despite it only happening once.
Lydia Won A Business Award
The Head of Logistics at Madrigal Electromotive GmbH probably wouldn’t have been a big player in the drug trade if she didn’t hold such a high position in the company. And that all happened after she was given a business award for her good work.
After getting the promotion, Lydia was introduced to the dark side of the company. Madrigal had invested in a number of businesses that were actually fronts for criminal activities. This way, Lydia got to meet Walt, Todd, and Mike.
Walt Met Skyler At A Diner
After leaving Gray Matter, Walt had several short-term jobs. One of those was a stint as a chemist at a lab near Los Alamos. Just a few meters away from where he worked, there was a diner.
Skyler just so happened to be a hostess at the diner and when Walt went to have lunch there, the two got to know each other. They would grow close and closer, eventually getting married.